We Are All Citizens Of The World

, , , , , | Hopeless | December 10, 2018

Recently my wife and I were flying from Vienna to Bucharest. Seated with us was a young woman from Canada whose flight to Toronto the previous day had been canceled. She was being rerouted via Romania, and she had a tight connection.

When we landed, she worked her way through the crowd as quickly as possible and disappeared ahead of us. We passed a door for connecting flights and assumed she went there, but when we got to passport control she was in the non-citizen line about twelve places back. She told us she’d tried to go to her connecting flight but was redirected here. The line was moving glacially and she would never make her new flight. Frustrated, she began to cry, and my wife and I tried to comfort her.

Then, a woman in the line for citizens noticed what was going on and walked over. She intuited what was happening and went to the front of our line. With gestures, she convinced the people at the head of the line to let the young woman and another man in an identical situation to go next.

When the official at passport control heard their story she left her booth and lead them to the area behind it, where she found someone to take them to their plane. Since there was still close to thirty minutes left, I believe they made the flight.

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Terrorism In Sandals

, , , , | Friendly | August 27, 2018

(I have to change flights at short notice as a meeting ran on longer than expected, so instead of the Romanian national airline I have to use the substandard British one. I discover I am sharing the plane with a tour party of elderly — even older than me — compatriots of mine who are highly prone to complaining. After standing in line for an age to check in my luggage, and then for another age to get through security, I then find myself in another line for the passport check. This is no big deal. It’s what you expect when flying out of Bucharest; you have to allow plenty of time. The two old women behind me in the queue are getting tetchy and impatient.)

Old Woman: “I wish they’d hurry up. This is intolerable.”

Me: “Oh, I don’t know; it’s moving pretty smoothly today. It can take far longer than this.”

(She looks me up and down with a sneer on her face, taking in my open sandals, army-style combat jacket, and Comrade Corbyn hat.)

Old Woman: *in a loud voice* “Well, if only you didn’t dress as a terrorist, maybe the line would move faster!”

Me: “Thank you for that. A bit louder next time; they may not have heard you in Hungary.”

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